Celebrity chef David Chang won the grand prize of $1 million on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire in an episode airing this past Sunday on ABC, meaning the charity he was playing for, Houston's own Southern Smoke, got the million.
"My gambling problem finally pays off," wrote Chang on Twitter following the aired victory. He won by correctly identifying Benjamin Harrison as the first U.S. President living with electricity in the White House, receiving phone-a-friend help from ESPN personality Mina Kimes.
"Very rarely am I at a loss for words," wrote chef Chris Shepherd, co-founder of Southern Smoke, Sunday evening on Instagram. "David Chang, I want to thank you on behalf of Southern Smoke and well, quite frankly, the entire food and beverage industry. ... This is a special moment in time that we will not forget."
Later, in a release, Shepherd said he was honored that Chang chose Southern Smoke as his charity. "Now, more than ever, with indoor dining shut down in many parts of the country and temperatures dropping and prohibiting outdoor dining, food and beverage industry employees are desperate. These funds will help so many people."
Southern Smoke offers emergency aid to workers in the food and beverage industry. It's taken on a much larger role during the Covid-19 pandemic.
A new bar called Cowboy Surfer is now open at 827 Frostwood Dr in Memorial City. The 1,850-square-foot space is inspired by the 1960s cowboy surfer culture of the Texas Gulf Coast, Southern California, Oregon, and Florida panhandle. Drinks include a house margarita, a mezcal and coffee treat, a mule-inspired drink with jalapeño, and more. Look for a small food menu that has items like Texas chili and cheeseburgers.
“This bar has been a long time coming. There’s certainly a lot of thought and passion behind it," says co-owner and designer Carl Eaves of F.E.E.D. TX Restaurant Group. He, F.E.E.D. partner Jack Massing, and businessman Jim Jard are in on Cowboy Surfer. "Meanwhile, it’s meant to be an über-casual, laid-back respite from the hectic Houstonian life."
Live music is also planned for the space. Look for vinyl records, memorabilia, vintage photographs, and much more. It's open 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. Monday, Friday, and Saturday, and 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. Tuesday–Thursday and Sunday.
Changes are afoot at the new White Elm Café in Memorial. Tasos Katsaounis of Bread Man Baking Co., who was a partner for the opening of the cafe, has moved on. Jamie Orlacchio, who was brought in by Katsaounis as executive pastry chef (with a resume that includes Brasserie 19, Brasserie du Parc, and La Table) remains on board heading up the pastry program.